New plans for HGV drivers crossing the Short Straits and Irish Sea - 14/12/2020

New measures to manage traffic flow and congestion on Kent’s road network will come into force on 1 January 2021. These measures are known as Operation Brock and will apply to HGVs over 7.5 tonnes in the event of severe disruption to services across the English Channel.

HGVs will be legally required to follow signed routes when directed to do so on journeys to Port of Dover and Eurotunnel. Drivers may be required to wait in a designated holding area and signs, diversions and speed restrictions will be in place to help guide them there.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is urging drivers to plan their journeys to ensure they have taken breaks and rest periods before entering Kent. This reduces the risk of them exceeding their drivers’ hours limits if delayed by being held up in a queue. Drivers are advised to pack food and water and make themselves aware of locations where they can take a break on route.

DVSA also advises drivers to use the Check and HGV services to get a Kent Access Permit if they intend to cross the border, even if their vehicles are empty, and to check that they have the right EU import and commodities documents for the goods they are carrying.

Drivers can be fined £300 if they do not use the service or if they provide a fraudulent declaration. Drivers making domestic journeys, or travelling within Kent, will not require a Kent Access Permit.


The Port of Holyhead on the west coast of Anglesey in North Wales, is the key entry and exit point for goods being transported between the UK and Ireland.

The Welsh Government has updated its contingency plans to ensure that any disruption at the Port of Holyhead is kept to the absolute minimum, once the Brexit transition period ends on 1 January 2021.

Freight operators bound for Ireland will be required by ferry operators to link customs information to their booking. Failure to do so will mean they will not be allowed to enter the port.

The UK Government’s Border Operating Model sets out that physical checks will not be conducted on the majority of inbound goods until July 2021 and discussions are ongoing about the infrastructure required to deliver those checks.

Between four and seven out of every ten HGVs arriving at ports from 1 January 2021 could be turned away as they do not have the right documentation, in a reasonable worst case scenario published by UK Government.

To ensure disruption is minimised, the Welsh Government is implementing a four-point plan, which includes a temporary contraflow, a stacking site, a contingency site plus new signage.


Published On: 10/12/2020 16:00:36

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